Pistol Caliber Carbines for a Home Defense Gun

pistol caliber carbineWhen it comes to home defense, shotguns and handguns rule the roost, but there is a good argument that can be made for using a pistol caliber carbine in some instances.

Pistol caliber carbines often catch a lot of flak as they are underpowered when compared to a typical rifle caliber and heavy or bulky when compared to a handgun. With these two thoughts in mind, the question put forth is simply, “Why?”

In some instances it may be due to legality. Certain states and cities have strict laws regarding the purchase of handguns, much less the use of them in self-defense. Yet these same areas are typically less restrictive about possession or use of long guns.

Age can be a factor as handguns are only available for persons over the age of 21. This limitation on the 18-20 year-old age group can be overcome by the purchase of a long gun.

Another compelling reason to consider a pistol caliber carbine is that they are generally more accurate and quicker to get on target than a handgun. Red dot sights and flashlights can be easily added to most carbines without adding excessive weight and bulk as those same devices would add to a handgun.

The longer barrel of a carbine will add an increase in velocity because the bullet will be stabilized within the barrel for a longer distance. Yet this increase in velocity will not increase recoil due to the heavier weight of the carbine absorbing more of it than a handgun in a similar caliber. Carbines have a greater range than pistols and may be a consideration if the shooter has a house with large rooms or a large sized yard.

An added bonus is less muzzle blast or noise allowing for a faster follow up shot if needed. This is due to the longer barrel allowing all of the powder to burn before the bullet leaves the muzzle and the muzzle being farther from the shooter’s face than a handgun when it is fired.

A pistol caliber carbine can take many forms. Some of the most common are semiautomatic versions of military style submachine guns such as the Uzi, H&K MP5, Thompson 1921, M1 Carbine or the Sig Sauer MPX. Other designs such as the Kriss Vector or the Beretta Storm were solely designed for semiautomatic civilian use. These types of carbines are generally accurate have mild recoil and can accommodate the addition of a flashlight, laser or red dot sight. These carbines are available in standard calibers such as 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 SIG, 45 ACP and 30 Carbine in the case of the M1 Carbine. Unfortunately jurisdictions that restrict handguns may have similar restrictions or have a bad outlook on semiautomatic carbines as well.  In that case, there are other options.Marlin_336W

Lever action rifles made by Winchester, Marlin, Rossi and Henry are modern day replicas of the rifles used in the Old West. It was common during the 19th century to have a rifle chambered for the same caliber as a pistol that was carried due to the limited availability of ammunition in most circumstances. These rifles can be had primarily in the typical revolver calibers of 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 44 Special, 44 Magnum, 38-40, 44-40 and 45 Colt. They are not semiautomatic and the traditional wood stocks and blue finish lend them the look of a more traditional-style hunting rifle.

The lever action carbines are not as easy to adapt as their semiautomatic cousins are with regard to lights and lasers, but some manufacturers are offering these types of carbines with a Picatinny scope base to mount a red dot sight. Aftermarket companies are making forends for some of them that will accept lights and lasers as well.

When it comes to a firearm for home defense, handguns and shotguns are not the only game in town.

Let us know in the comments what you think of pistol caliber carbines for home defense.


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